Meet Our Staff

Laurie Whitehead

Office Assistant

I am so pleased to start my position as part-time office assistant at First Lutheran!  It feels like “coming home”.  Here is a brief run down of the route to this job. I grew up in Pelican Rapids, and my parents (Ken and Elenor Hanson) moved to Fergus Falls the year after I graduated high school.  They became members of First Lutheran.  I completed 2 years at the Community College, active in music and theater.  I finished my degree at the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Education.  I moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area and couldn’t find a teaching job, so I took my civil service test.  I spent 33 years working in administration at the Fargo VA Medical Center.  It was an honor to serve Veterans, and a job I truly loved.  I retired from the VA 6 years ago, and my husband Dale semi-retired, we decided to forge ahead with building the home we had been dreaming of, and that is how we landed in our quiet little spot in the woods!  We joined First Lutheran, and I became active in circle – the same circle my Mom belonged to, which was such a joy!  I also volunteered in the church office with Katrina, which I enjoyed very much.  We have 2 grown children, our son Dane and his wife Emily live in the Twin Cities, and our daughter Katelyn is in Los Angeles.  My retirement job after moving to Fergus Falls was at Target, and I was sad to see the store close, but SO very happy to have found this position at First Lutheran.  I look forward to getting to know more people in the congregation, and doing my best to be an asset to the church.  I feel SO very blessed!

Kristy Wicklund

Director of Children’s Ministry
Kristy Wicklund grew up on a beef and grain farm just north of Fergus Falls.  She went to school in Fergus Falls and attended a small church where she spent every Sunday morning.  Her mom was both Superintendent of the Sunday School and one of the Sunday School teachers.  When Kristy was confirmed, she took her place as a Sunday School teacher and taught for five years where she found her love for teaching, children, and sharing God’s word. Kristy attended Moorhead State University and received a B.A. in Early Childhood Education. She taught at a private Montessori school with toddlers through 8th grade in Moorhead for ten years.  Kristy and her family moved back to their hometown in 2014.  They joined First Lutheran Church, her husband’s home church and the church they were married in, and she has been involved in the Sunday School ever since.  Kristy is married to Charles and together they have three active children: Adeline, Lucas, and Amelia.

Calie Anderson

Administrative Assistant/Youth Director
Calie (Rittenour) Anderson has always been part of the First Lutheran Church Family. She was baptized and confirmed here. A graduate of Underwood High School and then went to college for Early Childhood Education. She enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her barrel horses. She has always had a passion for children; she also has two boys, Connor, 10, and Nolan, 6, being her top priority. Calie is very excited to be joining the First Lutheran staff and making a difference to the youth of our community.

 Lynn Melchior

Intern Pastor 

 Lynn Melchior is a full-time student at Luther Seminary and works part time at First Lutheran as a Vicar.  (A Vicar is like an apprentice pastor.  It is a position of authority but not able to do all things like officiate weddings, sacraments, etc.)  Lynn grew up in the Twin Cities but spent her weekends and summers on the shores of Rush Lake (the one next to Ottertail Lake).  After divorcing, Lynn raised her two children, Ryan and Katie along the Ottertail River between Ottertail and Rush lakes.  Both of her children are finishing up college away from home.  Lynn comes to First Lutheran from Zion Lutheran Church in Amor (Battle Lake), MN where she was their office manager and occasional lay minister.   Lynn enjoys all that mother nature has to bring as well as cooking, reading, quilting and her pets – Krieger (black Lab), Dragon (a feisty cat) and Airgar (a sweet cat). 


Keith Melberg


Keith Melberg has been the organist at First Lutheran Church since 1985.  Prior to that he was an organist at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.  Keith also accompanies the Senior Choir and plays in Hosanna Handbells (he plays the heavy, large ones!)  Keith is a retired supervisor for the Customer Information System at Otter Tail Power Company and still does some contract work for Otter Tail Power.  Keith has 4 children and 8 grand-children and enjoys singing with Community College Chorale in his spare time.  Keith is an incredible asset to our music ministry.

Linda Mellon

Bell Choir Director

Linda Mellon has been a member of First Lutheran Church since she was in fifth grade. Linda has been involved in music ministry since 1984.  She was asked to direct one of the children’s choirs temporarily and it stuck.  She says, “thirty-four years later, here I am!” In 1987, the church was gifted with a three octave set of Malmark handbells.  Linda then began directing the handbell choir.  The bell choir has since added two more octaves of bells and five octaves of choirchimes. Linda is married to Bud (they were married at First Lutheran in 1977) and they have two daughters, Sarah and Erica, who were both baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran.  Linda and Bud have five grandchildren who love to visit grandma and watch her while she directs the Bell Choir!  Linda and Bud live on Otter Tail lake.

Anne Taylor

Worship Team Director

Anne Taylor has been involved with church music since the age of 14 when she became the full-time organist at Hamar Lutheran Church in Rothsay, MN. She studied piano and organ at Luther College and was music director/organist at the Norwegian Memorial Lutheran Church in Minneapolis and organist at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in DeKalb, IL.   At First Lutheran, she directs the Worship Team, a group that helps lead the blended worship service once a month. She and her husband, Sean, have two grown children, Ethan and Sarah.

Steve Hosch


Steve Hosch has been working at First Lutheran for over 30 years. He was born in Ashland, Ohio and has lived in many different places before settling in just outside of Fergus Falls. He was married in 1984 to Cheri, and they had three children. He graduated from Coopers High School in Robbinsdale, MN. Steve and two of his daughters live together with his dog, Hans, a German Shepherd. We are very blessed to have such a hard-working Janitor here at First Lutheran. He oversees all of the cleaning and building maintenance, and has great skill in making our building last through the years.